Patricia Craig Johnson --- Searching for My Ancestors --- Sharing My Life Stories

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Thursday, March 19, 2009

Titus Chapman 1744-1808

Titus Chapman was born 30 September 1744 in Saybrook, Middlesex County Connecticut. His parents were Nathaniel Chapman and Mercy Denison. His father died in 1755. Elizabeth Kelsey was born 14 March 1746 in Saybrook, Middlesex County, Connecticut. Her parents were Gamaliel Kelsey and Mary Gray. Her mother died in 1758.

Titus’ mother, Mercy and Elizabeth’s father, Gamaliel married 25 March 1762 in Saybrook. Titus was age 18 and Elizabeth was age 16 when their respective parents married each other. Five years later these two married on 24 September 1767.

Between May 1776 and May 1777 Titus and Elizabeth migrated to Litchfield County Connecticut. Their son, William was born in May 1776 in Saybrook and their daughter, Nancy, was born 1778 in Salisbury in Litchfield County. Litchfield County is in the northwestern corner of Connecticut. In May 1777 Titus was a guard at the Salisbury Furnace. The Salisbury Furnace was a critical place during the Revolutionary War.

Providing arms and ammunition for the War had been mostly by seizure of arms from the British such as at Ticonderoga, Crown Point and New Providence. Litchfield County Connecticut contained iron ore mines of great value and produced the celebrated “Salisbury Iron”. As early as 1748 a forge had been erected here. In1762 Ethan Allen, John Haseltine and Samuel Forbes had built a blast furnace here. Connecticut Governor, Jonathan Trumbull, realized the importance of the Salisbury Furnace to the Revolutionary. In order to assure that the necessary iron ore was not destroyed or taken by the British a guard was established to protect the area. Titus Chapman appears in the “List of Government Guards” at the Salisbury Furnace during the months of May and June 1777.

Elizabeth died 23 September 1792 in Salisbury, Connecticut. Titus remained there until about 1801 when he went with his son, Nathaniel, to the Western Reserve of Ohio. They settled in what would become Summit County. Titus donated the land for Middlebury Cemetery in what is now Akron, Ohio. He was the first adult buried there in 1808. When I was researching my ancestress, Sarah (Sally) Chapman Collins I found her buried there with her parents, siblings and grandfather, Titus. This answered the mystery of where she died because her husband died in Michigan and her children all moved on west. At the time of my discovery, the Middlebury Cemetery was in disrepair and in a dangerous neighborhood of Akron. I am happy that the City of Akron has cleaned it up and placed an Ohio Historic marker there.

Titus and Elizabeth had four sons and three daughters. Their first child, Nathaniel, is my ancestor. Elizabeth died when the youngest child was age four. Titus never remarried, which was unusual at that time.

I am especially proud of Titus and Elizabeth Kelsey Chapman. It is through Titus and his mother, Mercy Denison that leads us back to our Mayflower ancestors, John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley. It is folks like them that make New England my very favorite place to do research.
(10/08/08) - The City of Akron today commemorated the 200th anniversary of the first settlement in what is now modern day Akron, with the dedication of an Ohio Historic marker at the Middlebury Cemetery on Newton Street in East Akron.

This first burial ground in Akron was established in 1808 with a gift from Deacon Titus Chapman – who was also the first person interred there when he died in November of that same year.
"The people who came here 200 years ago were the sturdiest frontier families," said Mayor Don Plusquellic. "They brought with them from New England principles of faith and free enterprise that helped make Akron what it is today."

Next in the catalogue of early settlers, we may mention Deacon Nathaniel Chapman, Charles Chittenden, William Neal and George Kilbourn, all of whom were from Connecticut originally. Deacon Chapman, with his brother William, made a trip to the Western Reserve in 1800, on a tour of inspection. They stopped at Canfield, and, being pleased with the country, he selected land and made what preparations he could for settling on it, and then leaving his brother he returned to Connecticut. The next year, with an ox team. he started with his family,(including his father, Titus) taking the south road." as it was called, through Pennsylvania, and over the mountains to Pittsburgh. Nathaniel’s daughter and Titus’ granddaughter, Sally, was the first bride in Tallmadge ;. she was married to John Collins on the 7th of January, 1809, and the ceremony was performed by Joseph Harris, of Randolph, a Justice of the Peace. His father, Titus Chapman, died November 8, 1808, and was the first death of an adult person in the township, the first death being, as already noted, Boosinger's child. Mr. Chapman, Sr., was the first buried in the old Middlebury graveyard. Deacon Chapman was the first Justice of the Peace in the township after its organization. He was an exemplary man, and died November 12, 1834, at the age of sixty-six years.


Seth said...

Hey, Nice blog from one Johnson to the other. I just recently started my ancestry blog. I linked your blog in mine. Hope that's ok.

Seth Johnson

Seth said...

Oh my blog is